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Source: (consider it) Thread: Calling People Apes
mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:
Do you not have offences such as 'breaching the peace' or similar though?

For name-calling? No. Recall this is the country where Fred Phelps and Co. go to military funerals and yell about "fags."

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Russ
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If there was racist intent, then she gets no sympathy - her meaning was correctly understood and the authorities acted appropriately.

What's more interesting is if there was no racist intent...

Calling someone an ape is never totally complimentary. But in other contexts, such a comment could be harmless. How many movies can you name where the female lead calls the male lead "you big ape" ?

Best wishes,

Russ

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Palimpsest
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Teenagers are remarkably resilient, while this 13 year old learned a very harsh lesson, it is a lifelong lesson. She has a good chance to turn the experience around. Who knows, she may become an advocate for minorities as a career.

Besides, a year from now no one will remember this story.

She has bigger problems, namely her mother.
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Palimpsest
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
So we understand that that Kaplan thinks it's perfectly fine for 13 year old girls to shout terms of racial abuse at players who are members of groups with a long history of being oppressed.
To enforce the rules of behavior required by the league is an appalling disruption of the girl being able to shout abuse in the heat of the moment and it's an appalling over-reaction and still worse "politically correct" and a disruption of traditional football loutish behavior that Kaplan cherishes.


So sad.

What is sad is that you are either incapable of understanding plain language or determined to mischievously misreport it.
What I read was "oh it shouldn't be done, but followed by a bunch of special pleading like "heat of the moment", "only 13", and "over-reaction" and "political correctness", "ruin her life" to moan about the fact that she actually was held responsible for her action.

[ 26. May 2013, 19:02: Message edited by: Palimpsest ]

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Gramps49
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lilBuddha

I agree racial slurs at sports events are not isolated incidents, but what I meant was I do not think this girl will be scarred for life. The public will not remember her a year from now.

Recently there was the movie about American Baseball player, Jackie Robinson, 42. This is just beyond my memory, but I think they depicted the reactions very well.

One of the most memorable parts of the movie was when the Brooklyn Dodgers were playing a game in Cincinnati. A man had brought his son to the game. The boy was looking forward to watching Pee Wee Reece, the Dodger Shortstop paying. As the team was taking the field, everyone was hurling vindictives at Robinson, who was playing first base. The boy joined in the harragin, but then Pee Wee goes to Robinson and puts his arm around Robinson. The camera goes back to the boy who all of the sudden has a conflicted look on his face.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
If he had responded forcefully and personally to that particular comment, and let her know that he was offended by it, the shock would have been sufficient to make her realise she had crossed a line

No, that's really not how racists operate. It would have got her back up, and she would be blaming that dirty black ape for not being able to take a joke.
Labelling a thirteen year-old as a "racist", as if it is indelibly written into her genetic make up is, to say the least, unhelpful.
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
"Lesser breeds under the sun"

There is a theory, which I think originated with Orwell, that Kipling was in fact referring to the Germans, whom he he regarded as arrogant ("such boastings as the Gentiles use....").
Dunno what Orwell was thinking then, because that line is not from Kipling [Razz]


Mea culpa.

I assumed it was an approximate quote.

[ 26. May 2013, 22:08: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
What I read was "oh it shouldn't be done, but followed by a bunch of special pleading like "heat of the moment", "only 13", and "over-reaction" and "political correctness", "ruin her life" to moan about the fact that she actually was held responsible for her action.

I repeat, we are talking about a thirteen year-old.

There was a time when thirteen year-old offenders were treated exactly the same as adult offenders.

They were given the same punishments - imprisonment, flogging, transportation, hanging - for the same crimes.

Today (to the regret, it would seem, of some posters)we have become a bit more compassionate and realistic, and things have changed.

We recognise that juvenile offenders are not culpable in the same way as adults are; that they do not always understand what they are doing; that they are plastic, impressionable, vulnerable and changeable; and that their identities need to be protected, so that what they did at an early age does not blight their reputations for the rest of their lives.

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lilBuddha
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So, either she is a sweet innocent or a raging hate monster? Over-simplify much?
She is 13, so should not be treated too harshly, but neither should she get a pass.
IME, 13 is plenty old enough to understand why this language is unacceptable and to understand the consequences of not controlling your mouth in a public space.
The way Goodes handled the situation in the aftermath is the correct approach. Teach and let it go.

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Stetson
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quote:
She is 13, so should not be treated too harshly, but neither should she get a pass.

There was a recent case in Canada where a left-wing candidate in a provincial election was revealed to have made highly offensive anti-Chinese slurs on a website a decade ago.

People were also defending her on the grounds of age and immaturity. Thing is, though, she was 21 when she made the comments, and her own party has run candiates for office who were younger than that.

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Gramps49
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I have had a little time to read some of the Australian reports today. I understand some people have actually increased their vindictiveness against Goodes over the weekend. Typical. Call someone out for their racial remarks and the racists come out of the woodwork. They just don't like being called for what they are.

But if anything, maybe the incident will initiate a national conversation about what is appropriate and what is not. I see the schools will be disseminating some material against racism again (which suggests the girl may have had a class or session on racism before--in other words, she should have known better already).

What the girl did was objectionable, clearly against Australian football rules. Is she a racist? She is a product of her society. Having her called out for it shows her there is a line that should not be crossed, but it also shows society that something is out of whack and needs to be addressed.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
If he had responded forcefully and personally to that particular comment, and let her know that he was offended by it, the shock would have been sufficient to make her realise she had crossed a line

No, that's really not how racists operate. It would have got her back up, and she would be blaming that dirty black ape for not being able to take a joke.
Labelling a thirteen year-old as a "racist", as if it is indelibly written into her genetic make up is, to say the least, unhelpful.
a. So you would only apply this method to 13-year-olds, not to, say, 15-year-olds?

b. I have seen many a ten year old and younger who would have exactly the reaction I have portrayed. Whether you call them racists or not is kind of irrelevant, and could be considered semantic nitpicking.

[ 26. May 2013, 23:40: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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the giant cheeseburger
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
No, that's really not how racists operate. It would have got her back up, and she would be blaming that dirty black ape for not being able to take a joke.

Labelling a thirteen year-old as a "racist", as if it is indelibly written into her genetic make up is, to say the least, unhelpful.
No, we need to call it what it is and recognise that it is racism that caused her to abuse Adam Goodes in that manner. Just because she's not a stereotypical skinhead doesn't mean she's not racist.

Racism is everywhere. White people are racist, black people are racist, those people we wouldn't call white or black are racist, you are racist, I am racist. What matters is what you do with it after your latent racism is exposed for what it is, which can (and should) be quite uncomfortable to work through, especially if it has to be exposed in the harsh light of facing up to consequences of your racism causing harm to another.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
So, either she is a sweet innocent or a raging hate monster? Over-simplify much?
She is 13, so should not be treated too harshly, but neither should she get a pass.
IME, 13 is plenty old enough to understand why this language is unacceptable and to understand the consequences of not controlling your mouth in a public space.
The way Goodes handled the situation in the aftermath is the correct approach. Teach and let it go.

I agree.

She hasn't been banned from attending any future football matches by the ground, the league or either club at this point. I hope she would keep going to the footy as it would be an ideal place for her to begin appreciating the contribution of different cultural groups to society, efforts to achieve that in her school and family evidently having failed to date. Getting seats in the outer instead of behind the boundary could be good though, especially after her face and name got splashed all over the media by her mum.

However, if she were to get caught again after this point I don't think all four bodies would have any hesitation in giving her a ban for a couple of years or for life. If a bit of negative reinforcement in the form of watching the footy or other sports on TV instead of at the ground (at least her team is on FTA TV every week) is what it takes to make her realise the impact her behaviour has on others, I'm cool with that. Going to the game is a good thing so long as you don't eat too many pies, but it's not a human right.

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bib
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This whole incident has become a storm in a teacup. The overreaction of Adam Goodes, the public and the media should be condemned. Instead we have the vilification of the girl who used an unfortunate word, but I doubt if there was any racial intent. Adam Goodes behaved very childishly by storming off the ground before the end of the match and turning on the tears over a single word that most people in Australia would not regard as a racial insult. Many of us have been the subject of verbal attacks, but we don't carry on about it. When I was at school, many of the kids called me a 'bloody Pom' but I ignored them and certainly didn't seek publicity over the issue. The more fuss is made, the more such offences seem to grow. Can we just close the door on the whole of this unfortunate incident. The thought that the AFL intends to give the girl 'counselling' horrifies me. Get over it people.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
Adam Goodes behaved very childishly by storming off the ground before the end of the match and turning on the tears over a single word that most people in Australia would not regard as a racial insult.

What a coincidence, most people in Australia are white. The privileged don't get to tell the unprivileged what not to be offended at.

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Vulpior

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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
...The overreaction of Adam Goodes...

Think about it. He could have reacted far more, particularly in the aftermath. He could have pressed for the full force of the law to come down. If he'd asked for a lifetime ban, I'm sure both the AFL and Collingwood would have obliged. But he didn't.

Think about when the incident happened. It's Indigenous Round. The AFL has spent the week spruiking the contribution of indigenous players to the game, noting now far the game has come in dealing with racism, and marking 20 years since Nicky Winmar's iconic action of lifting his guernsey and pointing to his skin. Adam and other indigenous players were in demand all week for media contributions. It's the opening match of the round, the Friday night stage, at the cathedral of Australian Rules. That's the context in which he hears the slur, thinks, "I don't believe it," and turns round to point out the perpetrator in the front row of the concourse. And is even more dismayed to see that it's a young teenager.

I suspect if those circumstances hadn't been there he might just have let it go by. But the impact of the insult, in that context, was significant; I can entirely understand his reaction. We were watching at home, and as soon as we realised what had happened, we felt very flat.

Engaging in a discussion with her at that point wouldn't have been appropriate, and he was hardly in a position to make an instant judgement on age or culpability, or on the long-term action to be taken. He was rightly gutted and left the ground. I hardly think he came across as a sook the next day, either; in his media conference he showed true leadership.

The same insult could have had a far worse impact on another indigenous player, perhaps someone who has only moved recently from a remote community. That it happened to Goodsey rather than anyone else is a good thing in many ways.

I do tend to think that punishment should not be entirely remitted by remorse (on her part) and forgiveness (on his). A membership/match attendance suspension of some length would seem to be appropriate. I don't know how long, either; an adult would face a lengthy, if not lifetime, ban.

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Leorning Cniht
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Is calling an Australian aborigine "ape" a racist insult? Presumably so - Mr. Goodes says he has been called "monkey" etc. on occasions before, and we'll assume that it's because of his ancestry rather than his facial hair.

That being the case, I find it hard to fault anyone's handling of the incident. With any luck, the girl in question will now understand that that kind of behaviour is not on, but should she repeat the offense, she should be looking at a long, long ban from football.

It is also appropriate, given the history, that racist insults are treated more seriously than equal-opportunity ones.

I am, however, troubled by the idea that it's acceptable to hurl any kind of insult at a player of an opposing team.

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the giant cheeseburger
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
Adam Goodes behaved very childishly by storming off the ground before the end of the match and turning on the tears over a single word that most people in Australia would not regard as a racial insult.

What a coincidence, most people in Australia are white.
Especially in Tasmania where the entire Indigenous Australian population was wiped out a century ago.
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Is calling an Australian aborigine "ape" a racist insult?

Just a tip, "Aborigine" is regarded as an unacceptable diminutive term these days, and you would struggle to find even a single person using that term for themselves these days. Use "Indigenous Australian" in written discourse or just "Indigenous" if you only need an adjective.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
Adam Goodes behaved very childishly by storming off the ground before the end of the match and turning on the tears over a single word that most people in Australia would not regard as a racial insult.

What a coincidence, most people in Australia are white. The privileged don't get to tell the unprivileged what not to be offended at.
Goodes is far from "unprivileged".

A top football player has more profile, influence and clout, and earns far more money, than most Australians, including the girl.

And cliche or not, with that power goes responsibility, in this case to act like an adult, not a prima donna, and refrain from using it to bully a child over a stupid mistake.

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the giant cheeseburger
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Goodes is far from "unprivileged".

A top football player has more profile, influence and clout, and earns far more money, than most Australians, including the girl.

And cliche or not, with that power goes responsibility, in this case to act like an adult, not a prima donna, and refrain from using it to bully a child over a stupid mistake.

This is why you should be thankful that he did use his position of power (not necessarily privilege, he grew up with a single mother in the only country towns they could afford to live in) responsibly to create a teachable moment and a national conversation instead of going over and picking a fight on the spot.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:
Just a tip, "Aborigine" is regarded as an unacceptable diminutive term these days, and you would struggle to find even a single person using that term for themselves these days. Use "Indigenous Australian" in written discourse or just "Indigenous" if you only need an adjective.

Fair enough.
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:
This is why you should be thankful that he did use his position of power

I should be thankful?

What's it got to do with me?

I wasn't the one whom he used his power to point out, and then have dragged out by security, in front of thousands of people at the ground and in the television audience, to be then interviewed by the police, with the threat of possibly being charged, and then splashed all over the media.

If it had been me, an adult, who called him an ape, I would have deserved all of that and more.

A thirteen year old did not - it was grossly disproportionate.

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Sylvander
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Besides, a year from now no one will remember this story.

The internet will. Forever.

Amazing amount of self-righteousness from all the good "anti-racist" citizens here. "No sympathy", "only held responsible for her actions" ...

In 1800 a child stealing bread could be deported to Australia. And all the good citizens thought that appropriate.

When my dad was a boy they stole apples from the orchard. The peasant caught them, clipped them over the ears. And all good citizens thought that appropriate.

When I was a boy there were no orchards. We nicked sweets from the shop. Had we been caught we'd have been arrested and fined and the youth department would have supervised our parents. And all good citizens thought that would have been appropriate.

In the meantime the Lord has descended and publicly declared that henceforth the One Unforgivable Sin for which no punishment shall be disproportionate is racism. And all the good citizens think this is perfectly appropriate. (To prove their own irreproachable virtue they try to detect every hint of racism in their fellow-citizens.)

And should the public mood (or the assumed Will of God) change again and once more declare adultery was the worst sin of all, so that some flogging, maybe stoning might be quite in order, all these good citizens would again clamour along: "no sympathy", "held responsible for her actions"...

In my Bible the main character seems to question human vindictiveness rather than reinforce it.

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lilBuddha
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KC,

What happened to the girl after being pointed out was not under the direction of Goodes, so therefore irrelevant to your complaint.

Sylvander,

Once more for clarity, no one said "no sympathy."

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Goodes is far from "unprivileged".

A top football player has more profile, influence and clout, and earns far more money, than most Australians, including the girl.

As a child Goode had far less influence, clout, and money than a white Australian.

Childhood experiences and perceptions are hard to forget.

Moo

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Gramps49
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I have seen the video of the girl being escorted out of the game. She was not dragged out as the original poster claims.

How interesting that the original poster is now claiming Goode acted as a child. Isn't this a racist comment in itself?

I think the original poster needs to take a look in the mirror.

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Gramps49
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Sylvander

Oh yes, the incident will be retained in some, maybe many, internet servers until the end of time or at least until the end of the internet. However, just like the threads on ship of fools which finally disappear for lack of continuing responses, this incident will fade away from human memory.

Will this girl be prevented from going on to college? Not likely. Will she find it harder to find employment? Probably not. Twenty years from now, will she be stopped by someone on the street asking if she was the girl that ....? No.

I can't wait until one of Goode's people become Prime Minister of Australia

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Sylvander
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Sylvander, Once more for clarity, no one said "no sympathy."

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If there was racist intent, then she gets no sympathy

I'd say that Russ expresses exactly the attitude of so many here. Should we begin to publicly shame people for years over every little misdemeanour?

But racism (or even every single incident that might be construed as racist) is not a minor misdemeanour. It is a very grave sin.
It is indeed.
Because our societies have declared it to be.
Just like society in Jesus' days declared adultery a sin worthy of death.
Just like society in the middle ages declared heresy the worst of crimes (very appropriately, because it was seen not as an error but as a wilful "murder of souls").
Just like anabaptism was regarded as capital crime in the 16th century.
Etc etc

Human value judgments are changing and what is a major crime to-day may be a little trespass or even a virtue to-morrow. Shouldn't we be uneasy that so many good citizens and Christians are happy to shout at every racist: "Crucify her" with the mainstream masses of the righteous media?

Even if the poor girl really was a hard-core racist (hardly deductably from the evidence), isn't racism a thought-crime? Many people have burnt at stakes over the centuries for thought-crimes. I am convinced that the spirit that brought them there is a graver sin than the original "crimes", even though we replaced the stakes with other ways of irreversible punishment.

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Stetson
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Sylavander wrote:

quote:
Even if the poor girl really was a hard-core racist (hardly deductably from the evidence), isn't racism a thought-crime?
You seem to be jumping back and forth between a hypothetical world, where the girl has been charged with a crime, and the real one, where she was merely escorted out of a stadium.

The concept of a "thought crime" is only ominous if it's referring to a literal crime, ie. something the state defines as illegal, and which it can use its coercive powers against. And if you were confining your argument to critiquing that concept, even using the hypothetical as an example of what COULD happen under hate-speech laws, I'd be on your side.

But are you really trying to argue that asking someone to leave a private space for obnoxious heckling constitutes free-speech suppression? That just doesn't hold water.

When I was in junior high, a kid wore a t-shirt to school that read "Freeze Your Ass Off In [Whatever Town The Shirt Came From]". He was told to go home and change his shirt. Are you going to argue that that was a thought-crime? No one was stopping him from wearing the shirt at home or while walking down the street.

[ 27. May 2013, 16:25: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Sylvander
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You really cannot grasp the difference between one instance and the wider trend it illustrates. Basically I am discussing the forest, not only one of the trees it is made of. The previous "forests" warn us where too much certainty and self-righteousness have led humans in the past.

Therefore, yes, I'd say it is grossly exaggerated to march someone out of a stadium, where dozens of insults fly back and forth all the time (the way you say "private premises" makes it sound like it was a house-warming party).
Warning her would have been entirely sufficient - albeit even then I'd question that racist insults should be treated in any other way than other generic insults.
So I perceive this one incident as an expression of a wider trend to over-react to some forms of bad behaviour which happen to be the fashionable "unforgivables" of the day.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvander:
Therefore, yes, I'd say it is grossly exaggerated to march someone out of a stadium, where dozens of insults fly back and forth all the time (the way you say "private premises" makes it sound like it was a house-warming party).

It's a legally important distinction under most formulations of free speech rights. Private premises are not the same as an open public forum and, to a large degree, expression can be limited by the owners of the premises in ways not permissible in public spaces.

quote:
Originally posted by Sylvander:
Warning her would have been entirely sufficient - albeit even then I'd question that racist insults should be treated in any other way than other generic insults.

Which can be your decision if you happen to own a football stadium. The stadium authorities in this particular case take a much stronger line against racist slurs than you personally would feel comfortable with.

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Stetson
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Sylvander wrote:

quote:
You really cannot grasp the difference between one instance and the wider trend it illustrates.
Well, it was confusing, because you conflated the "one instance" and the "wider trend" in the first sentence of your last paragraph.

quote:
Even if the poor girl really was a hard-core racist (hardly deductably from the evidence), isn't racism a thought-crime?
The "wider trend" you're talking about seems to involve people being charged with literal crimes(hence your comparison with stake-burnings). And, like I say, that's bad. But the girl's treatment at the stadium is not illustrative of that.

It would be like if I were to start complaining about the kid at my school being sent home for having "ass" on his t-shirt, and then in the same sentence, switch to complaining about publishers being arrested under draconian obscenity laws for printing the word "ass" in their books. There is a qualitative difference between the two things.

quote:
Therefore, yes, I'd say it is grossly exaggerated to march someone out of a stadium, where dozens of insults fly back and forth all the time
When I was in school, kids made smart-alecky remarks to the teachers all the time, without being kicked out of class. But if a kid had told a teacher to "Go #%$! yourself", he would probably have been sent home. Do you see that as some sort of grossly exaggerated selective punishment?

[ 27. May 2013, 17:03: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Sylvander
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
It's a legally important distinction under most formulations of free speech rights. Private premises are not the same as an open public forum and, to a large degree, expression can be limited by the owners of the premises in ways not permissible in public spaces.

Which can be your decision if you happen to own a football stadium. The stadium authorities in this particular case take a much stronger line against racist slurs than you personally would feel comfortable with.

So you want to shift the debate from the ethical to the legalistic? Then there is no debate. Nobody denied that the club's action was legal and in line with mainstream opinion. But be warned: legalistic reasoning when ethical arguments run out is a slippery slope.

The fact that the law and mainstream opinion are on your side relieves you not from the obligation to think and make ethical judgments. Some of the best people in history were the ones who disagreed with both law and public opinion of their day. And some of the worst had law and public opinion on their side.

You may not be aware of it but racism in Dixieland and deporting Jews to concentration camps in Austro-Germany were both perfectly legal and had huge public support - so always be cautious when howling with the wolves because you feel you just know you're right.

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Stetson
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Sylvaner wrote:

quote:
So you want to shift the debate from the ethical to the legalistic? Then there is no debate. Nobody denied that the club's action was legal and in line with mainstream opinion. But be warned: legalistic reasoning when ethical arguments run out is a slippery slope.


I think I was the one who got us onto this legalistic tangent. But I only did so because you referred to the girl's racism as a "thought crime", thus implying that what happened to her was the same thing as if she'd been prosecuted for saying something on a street corner or her kitchen table.
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Sylvander
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
But if a kid had told a teacher to "Go #%$! yourself", he would probably have been sent home. Do you see that as some sort of grossly exaggerated selective punishment?

Basically I think that racist insults are no worse (or better) than other insults directed at groups. Should be immoral? Yes. Should be illegal? No. All of them.
It is in the last twenty years we gradually started thinking racism so much worse than everything else. Why? Is the one explanation I heard above all? (I.e. it is a social problem. But so is homophobia et al.).

And I observe that this development leads to witch hunts. These are never good, hence my comparisons You're wrong about the crime-stake relationship: In those days the wrong thoughts were the crime.
I illustrate my point by extending the opposite argument to the extreme, using historical parallels.

Better understandable now?

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Stetson
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[This is meant as a continuration of my last post]

Just to be clear, I am not arguing that the stadium's rule has to be accepted as rational just because the stadium has a right to impose it. Just that it being a stadium, and not a street corner or a kitchen table, stops it well short of being a "thought crime".

[ 27. May 2013, 17:34: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvander:
The fact that the law and mainstream opinion are on your side relieves you not from the obligation to think and make ethical judgments. Some of the best people in history were the ones who disagreed with both law and public opinion of their day. And some of the worst had law and public opinion on their side.

Sometimes people are opposed by law and public opinion because they're groundbreaking moral thinkers. Most often, though, it's because they're jerks. If you want to go with the Galileo gambit and argue that racial slurs are the coming thing in moral behavior you'll need more than "they laughed at the Wright brothers". (They also laughed at the Marx brothers.) It should be noted that part of the reason racial slurs are so vilified is because we've already gone around this particular mulberry bush dozens (if not hundreds) of times.

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvander:

It is in the last twenty years we gradually started thinking racism so much worse than everything else. Why? Is the one explanation I heard above all? (I.e. it is a social problem. But so is homophobia et al.).

And I observe that this development leads to witch hunts. These are never good,

I'd agree that witch hunts aren't good.

And no I don't see racism as the worst thing in the world. Like most people, my sense of injustice is imperfect and partisan; an injustice done to me or mine calls forth the "that's not fair" response more loudly and strongly than injustice to those with whom I've less natural affinity.

But enough people from ethnic minorities have told enough stories about the impact of racial prejudice on them; others' feelings should be taken into account alongside one's own feelings on the relative seriousness of the different ways in which we humans fail to treat each other properly.

So if a deliberate racial putdown was intended, if the sense accurately communicated was "you black people are no better than monkeys" then on a scale of hurtfulness of insult that probably ranks pretty high. Possibly up there with telling a man from a Latin culture that his mother was a whore.

If on the other hand, there was a misunderstanding - if the sense intended was not the sense understood by the recipient then both parties to the communication share the blame and mutual apology for honest mistake is the order of the day rather than seeking to punish anyone.

The underlying issue here seems to me two different approaches to racism. One approach is to become hyper-sensitive to any possible echo of racist meaning in anything said to or about people of a minority race, and demand that everyone maximises their attention to the inter-racial context of everything, building a culture in which the most socially significant thing about any such person is their different race.

The other approach focuses on treating everyone as an individual human being rather than as a representative of their gender, race or class, and working for a society that is genuinely blind to the colour of a person's skin.

That seems to me the real divide; the first group thinks the second doesn't take racism seriously enough, while the second group sees the first as institutionalising racist ideas in the act of denying them. So both see the other as part of the problem.

Best wishes,

Russ

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
Adam Goodes behaved very childishly by storming off the ground before the end of the match and turning on the tears over a single word that most people in Australia would not regard as a racial insult.

What a coincidence, most people in Australia are white. The privileged don't get to tell the unprivileged what not to be offended at.
Goodes is far from "unprivileged".
10 out of 10 for missing the point. Bravo!

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Gramps49
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Watching the video again I was struck that no parent or other adult could be seen walking out with her other than the security guard. Was the 13 year old at the match by herself? This would not have happened in the US.

Another thought: there is no way Goode, or for that matter, the security guards could tell how old the girl was at the time of the incident. She appears much older.

I wonder how many times Goode had passed that section and heard the slurs.

Fact is Aussie Football prohibits such language.
She was wrong in with what she was yelling. Goode was in the right in calling her out. Security had no choice. She has since apologized, and Goode has accepted the apology.

So why is it some people want to keep this thread going?

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvander:
... Basically I think that racist insults are no worse (or better) than other insults directed at groups. ...

Just out of curiosity, have you ever been on the receiving end of racism? And where do insults based on insulting women fall on your scale?

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Mili

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I want to know why some people are so concerned with others having the right to verbally racially abuse other people. No one commenting here claims to go about using racial slurs themselves, but a few are very upset that they couldn't if they wanted to. It just doesn't make sense to me and I can't help but wonder if they are very insular and only have white family and friends.

I'm white, but have cousins and many friends who are not and totally support their right to go about their lives without being insulted because of their skin colour. People who think it is okay to think people are unequal due to ethnicity are also more likely to choose to employ white people (or people of ethnicities they consider hard workers, not lazy ones). This has a major impact on non-white peoples' job opportunities if a lot of people hold these views in a country where the majority of employers are also white.

When I walk down the street, go to work or travel on public transport people hold me responsible for my actions. If I make a mistake or do something wrong they don't say it's because I'm white. If I became a criminal my actions would reflect on myself, not other white people. This is not so for Aboriginal Australians and those of non-white ethnicities. They have to act as role models and anything negative they do will reflect on others of their ethnicity.

This includes footballers - a white player can skip training, drink when they shouldn't or act violently and no one will blame anyone but the individual. If an Aboriginal player does the same people start talking about Aboriginal culture and whether recruiters should be more careful when drafting Aboriginal players. Adam Goodes is an outstanding player with great leadership skills - however while this adds to the stereotype that Aboriginal people have amazing football skills, you don't see many people drawing the conclusion that Aboriginal people all have amazing leadership skills. That's due to racism.

I don't agree with calling racist people from a low socioeconomic background 'white trash' as they are people too and have not had opportunities that more wealthy people have had. Insulting people based on class or where they live in does not help the problem and is morally wrong when we are called to love others, especially outcasts.

As to Collingwood the suburb it is a highly ethnically diverse inner city suburb, and Aboriginal people live there too. The local council is very vocal in the causes of reconciliation and refugee rights. Collingwood the football team has one of the biggest supporter bases of all teams, coming from all over Melbourne and Victoria and from different ethnic backgrounds too. My Mum is even a supporter though she couldn't convince the rest of us! So is the boy next door to me who is of Indian heritage. It's a tradition to stereotype their supporters and give them stick, but not seriously. Joffa, the leader of their cheer squad may look like 'white trash' to some, but does a lot to help the homeless in Melbourne.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
original poster
original poster
original poster

I have a name, Gramps49 - or would you rather be referred to "the poster responding to the original poster"?

As for your question downthread as to whether the girl was at the game by herself, she was with her grandmother and sister, but was taken away from them by the security staff, questioned by the police with no other adult present, and reunited with them only after two hours.

This was not only completely unacceptable, but possibly illegal.

Would you tolerate your thirteen year-old daughter being treated like that?

Please spare us any protestations that any thirteen year-old daughter of yours would be perfect and therefore the contingency could not possibly arise.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:


What happened to the girl after being pointed out was not under the direction of Goodes

I think this comment is merely thoughtless, but were I one of those obsessive, paranoid, witch-hunter types who see racism everywhere, I could easily label you a racist for depicting Goodes as lacking the brains to imagine the damage that his actions might cause.

Racism is a genuinely serious issue, but those who play at being "anti-racister than thou" by uncovering it in all the minutiae of life (rather as self-righteous sexual morality crusaders used to discern "indelicacy", "impurity" or "lewdness" where no-one else did) only succeed in trivialising it.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Racism is a genuinely serious issue, but those who play at being "anti-racister than thou" by uncovering it in all the minutiae of life (rather as self-righteous sexual morality crusaders used to discern "indelicacy", "impurity" or "lewdness" where no-one else did) only succeed in trivialising it.

Uh, yeah. Translation: "Racism is so serious, we must never call it out or object to it."

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Mili:
the boy next door to me who is of Indian heritage.

I worked in India for years, and have a number of Indian friends here in Melbourne, both Christian and Muslim, so I have been upset at the very real racism which Indians have suffered here over recent years.

At the same time, I can recall being referred to in India as a "red monkey" (a term for sunburned white Europeans), and also the responses by Indian onlookers to a couple of African kids in our school when we went out on excursions.

Nowhere is perfect.

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Mili

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Racism against anyone is awful.However the point I was making was that Collingwood Football Club has a diverse supporter base, not just white 'rednecks', including the boy next door.

I take public transport a lot as I don't drive and do occasionally witness people making racist comments. I always stand up for the victims and the racists are usually confused about it (often they are drunk) or even apologetic once confronted. I never reported it as I didn't think verbal racism was taken very seriously by the police. Now I have noticed one of the bus lines has posters reminding everyone that everybody deserves a safe and comfortable ride and a phone number to report any incidents. This is after a few recent high profile racist incidents caught on camera and given to the media.

People caught verbally racially abusing others in public can be prosecuted and usually fined. Do you think this is fair? Should only adults be prosecuted? If you don't think it is fair what other strategies would you suggest for protecting your Indian friends in Melbourne from racial abuse, including by teenagers? Or do you only consider racism really serious when physical attacks are also involved?

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Sylvander
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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
Just out of curiosity, have you ever been on the receiving end of racism? And where do insults based on insulting women fall on your scale?

Yes, big sister. In my native land when living in quarters dominated by Turks. (In one town when my gf visited she was a victim of racist & misogynist slander on a regular basis.) And very occasionally abroad where I spent a quarter of my life.
But I take Croesos' point re the mulberry bush.

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the giant cheeseburger
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Watching the video again I was struck that no parent or other adult could be seen walking out with her other than the security guard. Was the 13 year old at the match by herself? This would not have happened in the US.

Another thought: there is no way Goode, or for that matter, the security guards could tell how old the girl was at the time of the incident. She appears much older.

The MCG management have clarified that her supervising adult was fetched shortly afterwards, when their security staff found out she was under 18. Nobody except her mother has made the claim that she was "questioned for over two hours without an adult present," not even the grandmother who was at the game with her. Why on earth the grandmother didn't follow them up the stairs is a different question, which hardly makes you wonder where the mother learned the parenting skills that led her to go to the media on Saturday.

For what it's worth, Goodes said he thought she was 14 when he looked. She may be a fairly big girl in both height and width, but her face still looks that of a child.
quote:
Originally posted by Mili:
Adam Goodes is an outstanding player with great leadership skills - however while this adds to the stereotype that Aboriginal people have amazing football skills, you don't see many people drawing the conclusion that Aboriginal people all have amazing leadership skills. That's due to racism.

Agree. While the Indigenous Australian community has produced some of the most extremely talented players of the last 20 years, none of the 18 AFL clubs have an Indigenous coach, and none of those players have been hired for any of the highly-paid media positions based in Melbourne.

Any suggestion that a top player like Adam Goodes or Andrew McLeod is 'privileged' because they get above-average pay needs to consider that this above-average pay for a 5-15 year career needs to be averaged out over about 50 years (from 18 to retirement age) including covering the bill for future medical costs due to the debilitating injuries they will have sustained during their football career. The majority of Indigenous players would be financially better off over their working life if they had studied to become even a teacher (a profession shat on from a great height) that would not be as well-paid per year but would last much longer.

Once Indigenous players have an equal chance of being coached well and nurtured through to the point of being noticed by a league club during their teenage years as white players do, and when they have an equal chance of their football career directly leading to a post-playing career, only then will I concede they might be reasonably considered privileged to some degree.

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Mili:
the boy next door to me who is of Indian heritage.

I worked in India for years, and have a number of Indian friends here in Melbourne, both Christian and Muslim, so I have been upset at the very real racism which Indians have suffered here over recent years.
Oh dear, the old "I'm not racist, I have a couple of Indian friends" canard. [Roll Eyes]

[ 28. May 2013, 08:50: Message edited by: the giant cheeseburger ]

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Evangeline
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Mili:
the boy next door to me who is of Indian heritage.

I worked in India for years, and have a number of Indian friends here in Melbourne, both Christian and Muslim, so I have been upset at the very real racism which Indians have suffered here over recent years.

At the same time, I can recall being referred to in India as a "red monkey" (a term for sunburned white Europeans), and also the responses by Indian onlookers to a couple of African kids in our school when we went out on excursions.

Nowhere is perfect.

The disgusting racism displayed by the Indian crowds and members of the Indian cricket team towards Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds makes it clear that it's not just "whites" who display racist attitudes. At least offensive racist taunts in Australia are so isolated that we can expel offenders AND we do, whilst in India it's all in AND their officials and team mates lie so that the racists go unpunished.

News article about Indian crowds & Andrew Symonds

Somebody went on upthread about an English car ad talking about Italian apes.. the ape is a type of Italian car, I don't think the ad was racist it was just ridiculing a rival product I don't think the idea was to call Italian people Apes.

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